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Smithsonian Staff Picks

 

The Valentine Dress

The Valentine Dress is the focus of a Visual Arts Lesson beginning with the Slow Look Strategy. This is followed with three ideas that may be incorporated into a high school fundamentals class. #npgteach
Vanessa Sales
11
 

Emergence of Civilization in China: Oracle Bones

In this student activity, students learn about life in early Chinese urban society by analyzing oracle bone divinations. These divinations, consisting of characters inscribed on turtle shells and animal bones over 3,000 years ago, are among the earliest systematic Chinese written language extant today. Students will answer object analysis questions, complete an activity using translations of divinations, and compare early Chinese urban society to Bronze Age societies in other parts of the world. This set includes multiple objects from the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Created by Elizabeth Eder and Keith Wilson at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in collaboration with Tess Porter, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

Tags: archaeology; ancestor worship; shang dynasty; diviner; early writing; early civilization; ritual; artifact; archaeological remains; artifact analysis

Freer|Sackler Education
10
 

Presidential Portraiture: Looking and Analyzing Questions

A topical collection of United States presidential portraits. This collection might be best shortened to introduce a specific historical era and the leader(s) of the time, or adapted to show how American leaders wanted to be perceived during their tenure and legacy and how artists depicted them. It includes the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture at a Glance sheet, which offers suggested looking and analyzing questions. It is also includes associated curator and educator talks on the portraits of the presidents, where possible.
Ashley Naranjo
55
 

A Morning in Damascus

This collection features a series of three independent activities around one singular portrait of Bayard Taylor (formally titled A Morning in Damascus) painted by Thomas Hicks, 1855.  Taylor was one of America's foremost and most popular travel writers of the mid to late 19th century.  

These activities were created for my Advanced Placement World History course to practice close reading skills as well as historical thinking skills.  The notations provided here are for teacher reference and would not be given to students. 



This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2017 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.

#NPGTeach

Lauren Hetrick
12